FYI! We still have a few spots left in the CSA! If people want to join the cost will be prorated. Please, spread the word! Also, bread shares are still available! It's $125 for 25 weeks. That is just $5 a week for 100% organic sourdough bread from Village Bakery and Provisions which goes for $7 a load at market. It's amazing! Here's the link to our online store!
Since we last spoke we've of course been busy, especially with lambs! We have 12 lambs now since last Tuesday. All twins. It usually goes pretty smoothly and our ewes give birth without assistance in the pasture. Sometimes the mom's reject a baby, however. This happened to us twice last year and, low and behold it happened again this past weekend. And I tell you, trouble on the farm always seems to come on your only day off. After the farmers market on Saturday we decided to go and check on the sheep and move them to a new paddock. We opened up the fence for them to go and walked over to them to get them up and over to the new paddock. all of the sheep went except for a mom and her babies. Jesse shouted, "We got a new lamb! Wait, it's twins!" The mom was only with one of them, a beautiful chocolate brown lamb with a bright white hind leg. The other was very lightly tan and laying by itself. The mother and the chocolate brown baby walked over to the new paddock and the little tan one began to cry. She ignored it. We carried her over to the new paddock and watched her walk around a bit crying. She found her mom but the mom continued to ignore her.
The best thing to do in these situations is not panic and observe. We watched for a little bit then headed back to the house to unload from market and checked on her again that evening. By then she was going to her own mom and every other mom to try and get milk and they all rammed her down. This is the way the ewes send a message to lambs that are not theirs indicating that this milk belongs to MY babies, now Scram! At this point we knew we had to do something. If the little lamb was battered around too much she could have been hurt.
In addition, it is essential that the lambs get the first milk produced by its mother, the colostrum, in the first 24-48 hours after birth. It's full of nutrients, antibodies, and fats that propel the little lamb into good health after birth. There are a few things we can do when this occurs. Separate the lamb and its mom (and brother in this case) and hold down the mom allowing the baby a chance to feed until the mom gets used to the lamb. We did this last year with success. Another option is observe longer and see if the lamb is adept and stealing squirts of milk without our interference. Or finally we could bottle feed the lamb. We called all our trusted sheep mentors and found out that a neighbor down the road had goat colostrum that we could use for the lamb.
We waited till early Sunday morning and saw the poor lamb wasn't getting fed. The sheep were too far from the barn with all the newborns around to isolate them and it clearly wasn't stealing milk, so we resorted to option 3 and went down the road to get the colostrum, lamb in my lap in the front seat. We were so glad we did too because Pat, the goat lady, was so sweet and knowledgeable and is an amazing neighbor to have! We fed the little lamb and she sent us home with 3 bottles of colostrum and milk and instructed us on how to care for the little gal. We diligently fed her for 2 days straight every 2-4 hours accepting that we would be feeding her several times a day for about 2 months. She followed Jesse around like he was her mother. I think he secretly LOVED being the lamb's mother and even crawled on all fours with her for a while (and got lots of chiggers for it).
On the third day we noticed her with her mom and brother which was great! Her mom wasn't ramming her anymore. With a little more observation, we noticed that she was nursing!! And her mom was letting her! We're not sure why or how she changed her mind about the little ewe lamb, but miraculously, she had decided to treat the lamb daughter again! My theory is that the lamb perked up, had a little energy, got a little feisty and her mom saw that she wasn't so pitiful and accepted her. So yay! No more early morning feedings for us! We are all so excited that she's ok although I think Jesse is secretly a little disappointed that his motherhood days are over
The garden is looking great! We've been hoeing and lot and keeping things clean! Today we're staking tomatoes. We expect tomatoes and other nightshades to be ready some time in July. But lots of other good stuff will be in before then.
Just a reminder here are our upcoming events this weekend:
May 21st, Saturday, Richland Park Market Fest! The official opening day of the Richland Park Farmers Market! 9am-4:30pm, veggie sales all day long, food trucks, artisans, live music! Come check it out! https://www.facebook.com/events/896067330491957/
May 22, Sunday, Sugar Camp Farm Annual May Day Celebration! and Farm House Concert/ Potluck. Come out to the farm and wrap the May Pole while listening to a live band, bring a dish for the potluck, tour the farm and stay till evening to experience the musical stylings of Dan Blakeslee all the way from Connecticut to entertain us. BYOB and dish! $10 suggested donation for musicians. https://www.facebook.com/events/574732596017073/
This will also be a fundraiser for our good farmer friend Tallahassee May of Turnball Creek Farm who's barn burned down earlier this week along with 12 years of accumulated farm equipment, her delivery van and saddest of all her sweet dog Buddy. We are devastated for them and will be collecting donations to help them restore their farm to its previous glory.
Week 2 CSA Share:
This week's share includes one purple kohlrabi, napa cabbage, green onions, salad turnips, pink beauty radishes, head lettuce, Toscano and Meadowlark kale, Garlic scapes, fresh oregano, salad greens mix (arugula, spinach, lettuce mix, baby kale) and fresh chamomile flowers!
I made a lot of this food this week. Here is a picture of the Thai Beef Salad with the lettuce wraps. There are chunks of kohlrabi in the salad and I paired it with rice and a peanut sauce:
Today for lunch I made a ton of veggies. Roasted salad turnips and radishes, sautéed kohlrabi, radish, and turnip greens, radish green pesto in orzo pasta, a salad with garlic scapes, parsley, head lettuce, radishes, lemon and olive oil, and home made cheese from the raw milk we get every week:
Some Recipe Ideas
The scape is the flowering stalk of the garlic before it flowers. It's crunchy like asparagus and tastes like mild garlic. Chop it and put it in a salad, sautee, or pesto. Grill it. Add it to goat cheese, cream cheese or butter.
This is an Asian style large cabbage. It's what Koreans use in kimchi. One of my favorite things to make! I also love to stir fry it with a little sesame oil and soy sauce to go with an Asian style meal. Or make a slaw or crunchy salad with it.
TOSCANO or MEADOWLARK KALE
TOscano is a kind of dinosaur kale. Most people will be getting this. The Meadowlark is a white Russian style kale. You can eat them both the same way as the Red Russian kale.
Most of you have probably used oregano. Maybe not fresh. I like to mix it into a compound butter or cheese, put it in a burger patty, or mottle it and stick it in a martini or other cocktail. You can also dry it and add it to your dry herb collection. You can use it in chimichurri or a pesto, too.
That's all this week!
Thanks so much for your support!
Your farmers: Lizzie, Jesse, Devan, Nico, Tony, Stormy (loud cat), Winnie (occasional bed trampler), sheep, cows, and the ducks